Our Opinion: Keep the fair safe

Published 6:30 am Saturday, August 7, 2021

It’s almost fair week!

It was heartbreaking last year when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the Mower County Fair. It was a tough decision and it was extremely unfortunate, even though it was the right decision as the pandemic continued to gain steam.

A year later and we’re much better off and upon this being printed, we’re just a few short days away.

However, as fairs around our region have come and gone, a disturbing trend has been noticed — the number of disturbances and acts of crime. During the Olmsted County Fair, those running the fair took steps in the face of these rising disturbances, that included closing the midway in the evening.

We don’t know what’s necessarily causing these rises. Maybe it’s all the pent up energy needing to be drained from the pandemic. What we do know, though, is we don’t want that problem.

When the fair was cancelled last year, so many opportunities were taken away. Notably, 4-Hers weren’t allowed to take part in a hallowed tradition of showing animals, there were no bull rides and friends missed out on one last hurrah of summer as school sat just on the horizon.

Mower County Fair officials go through tremendous work each year to put on a fun six days in August. The acts of a few shouldn’t tarnish that. Take personal responsibility for your actions to help keep this fair fun and safe for everybody.

Parents, don’t simply use the fair as a camp. The disturbances that caused problems with the Olmsted Fair were large groups of youth who were left to their own devices.

Your kids need to be your responsibility at the fair. Any number of things can happen, from personal injury to having to talk with Mower County deputies over the actions of your child.

We’re returning to something resembling normal and the fair is a welcome return for many who missed out on the annual fun last year. Let’s make sure we’re all coming away with good memories.